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I’ll have to be brief, 5am here and I just got finished watching the game. Rangers played one of their best games of the season. It wasn’t always pretty. It wasn’t dominating. What it was, was spirited. The effort, the heart…the passion was there from the drop of the puck, for the entire 60 minutes. The Rangers wanted this one. They wanted this one badly. They wanted this one more than the Flyers did. And they got the win.

I loved the way they answered the Flyers physicality as best they could. They don’t have the sheer size and weight and ferocity that the Flyers do, but they gave as much as they took. They defended their skill guys like when Girardi dropped the mitts right away when Hartnell took a run at Anisimov, and the team was led by a 4th line that doesn’t play like many 4th lines in the NHL do.

The trio of Prust, Anisimov, and Shelley has been an absolute joy to watch since they were put together. It’s not often you can put a 2nd line center with 2 4th line players, and get them to play like a 2nd line. But that’s exactly what has happened. In some strange frankenstein way, the Rangers 4th line has melded offense, defense, hitting, passing, forechecking, backchecking, shot blocking, cycling, and fighting in a manner I really can’t recall any Ranger line ever doing in the post lockout NHL. These guys are just so good at doing…well, everything. It’s so strange because outside of Anisimov, there really isn’t much in the way of raw talent between Shelley and Prust…and yet they somehow make it work. It’s strange to see, albeit definitely fun.

Gaborik and Captain Cardboard also had great games, Gaborik has really been flying the past 5 or 6 games, and he’s been looking to drive the puck around guys more than pulling up for a pass to the the late man. That is a very good thing. That is what Gabby was doing during his torrid start to the season, and if he can keep it up…who knows…though I still am not getting my hopes up….I’m superstitious that way.

I will try to expand on this tomorrow, I just have the most hectic schedule these days that it’s tough for me to find the time to write these up. Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ll add something else.


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